St. Regis, Montana - located in Western Montana, this town is situated along the St Regis and Clark Fork Rivers (both which offer world-class trout fishing) and is often looked at as just a 'travel-stop' along I-90 as travelers stop in for a quick huckleberry milkshake or bite to eat as they head elsewhere. For us, we spent a wonderful four day weekend enjoying this great little corner of Montana and would highly recommend this area to anyone looking for a relaxing getaway!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ST. REGIS TRAVEL CENTER
No visit to St. Regis is complete without visiting the St. Regis Travel Center - located along I-90, this is a must do! Complete with restaurants, Montana souvenirs, a trout aquarium and the BEST huckleberry milkshakes you'll find anywhere, we always love visiting here! In fact, after driving for 6+ hours to reach St. Regis - that was the first thing we did - stop at the St. Regis Travel Center for a milkshake!
THE NUGGET RV PARK
After spending way too much money as always shopping at the St. Regis Travel Center it was time to head over to the Nugget RV Park in St. Regis. We absolutely loved staying at this campground and would highly recommend this stop for anyone, whether you're camping in an RV or tent. For us, we are tent campers and this campground was one of the best we have been to! Offering good size sites, clean shower facilities, a great swimming pool and fun activities for the kids including the Tree Face Trail hunt, a playground and an old 'ghost' town mining village that you can explore. Our son especially like the old jail that he was able to lock Mommy into! I'm not sure if any of these old buildings were authentic but it was definitely was a fun place to explore with kiddos!
CLARK FORK RIVER AND THE ALBERTON GORGE
For us, one of the main draws to staying in St. Regis was the close access to the St. Regis and Clark Fork Rivers. Both offer great fishing opportunities and are a fisherman's dream! Also popular is to kayak or raft the Clark Fork River - specifically the thru the Alberton Gorge. The 'Gorge' is a 10 mile section of the Clark Fork River offering numerous II and III class rapids and is something my husband and I would have loved to raft or kayak! But with a three year old in tow, plans change a bit. So instead we took a drive along the Clark Fork to enjoy the scenic views and to enjoy a look of the Alberton Gorge from a bridge above. Ahh, maybe someday when our son is older we can take him kayaking or rafting thru this area! For those wanting to experience the rapids of Alberton Gorge - there are numerous tour operators that offer half and full day trips down the Clark For River.
SWIMMING IN THE CLARK FORK RIVER
As we were visiting in August, it was super hot during our time in St. Regis - so spending some time in the water was a must to stay cool! So for the rest of the afternoon, we set ourselves up along the banks of the Clark Form River and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon playing in the refreshing waters of the Clark Fork! I would say there's not a better way to enjoy a hot summer Montana day than by playing in a river!
FLOAT AND FISH THE CLARK FORK RIVER
Definitely the highlight of our time in St. Regis was floating and fishing the Clark Fork River. Both my husband and I love to whitewater raft, but now as we were traveling with a three year old, we had to adjust a few things with how we accessed the river. Luckily, there are numerous stretches along the Clark Fork that are super calm and virtually rapid-free. So for this day we choose to float and fish the four mile stretch of the Clark Fork River from the 'Big Eddy' access to the 'Dry Creek' access.
To Reach these Access Points:
Big Eddy Directions: I-90 to Superior Exit 47, then 1 mile east on Old Hwy 10.
Dry Creek Directions: I-90 to Dry Creek Exit 43, then north 0.2 miles, then east 0.2 miles.
Spending the day on the river was an absolute blast! This was the first time we rafted with our son, and he loved it! The Clark Fork River contains rainbow, cutthroat, brown and bull trout and as we floated down the river, we could see tons of giant trout floating below us, but as luck would have it, none of those giants were biting that day. Although we didn't catch any of the giant trout, we did have some luck bringing in numerous smaller trout and our son was able to help reel them in! Just make sure you have your proper licensing before fishing! No license is needed for children but both myself and husband made sure to pick up our Montana licenses!
ANOTHER DAY ON THE CLARK FORK RIVER
For us, we were lucky enough to borrow a raft to bring with us on this trip, so we made sure to get some good use out of it and spent a second day out on the Clark Fork River. If you don't have access to a raft, there are number rafting companies that operate along the Clark Fork River and offer different rafting options from a scenic float to a whitewater rapids trip. The Clark Fork River is the longest river in Montana at 280 miles and provides a wealth of options to choose from when looking to float a section of the river. For our second day floating the river, we choose to float the short three mile portion from Dry Creek to Sloway. This was another super calm stretch of the river and provided for a great scenic float to fish along the way. Again, no big fish to talk of but we did catch a few small rainbow trout as we enjoyed our time out on the Clark Fork River.
Interested in planning your own trip to St. Regis, Montana? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!
Day 1: Arrive, stop at the St. Regis Travel Center - get a huckleberry milkshake. Check in and get set up at The Nugget RV Resort.
Day 2: Drive along Clark Fork River - view the Alberton Gorge. Spend the afternoon along the banks of the Clark Fork River swimming.
Day 3: Scenic Float on the Clark Fork River - Big Eddy to Dry Creek (about 4 miles)
Day 4: Scenic Float on the Clark Fork River - Dry Creek to Sloway (about 3 miles)